Civil Service

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Collection

Janet Yellen

In 2021, American economic Janet Yellen was the first woman to lead the United States Department of the Treasury. In 2014, she had become the first woman to chair the United States Federal Reserve Board, one of the most powerful banks in the world.

Judith Sheindlin

For two and half decades, former New York family court Judge Judith Sheindlin has riveted daytime viewers, racked up awards, and sold thousands of books to people hungry for the tough love of a tough Jewish mother. Millions of viewers who watch Judge Judy every day are treated to many Yiddish words and wisdom the jurist uses on a parade of deserving participants who enter her TV studio courtroom.

Meyera Oberndorf

Meyera Oberndorf blazed trails in Virginia politics as the first woman and first Jewish mayor of Virginia Beach, the largest city in the Commonwealth. From 1988 to 2008, she stood up to a long-ingrained good old boy network and led the city through difficult issues including racial unrest, all while staying closely connected to her citizens as “the people’s mayor.”

Bessie Margolin

Bessie Margolin was raised in New Orleans’s Jewish orphanage, where she learned powerful lessons in social justice that propelled her trailblazing legal career through the New Deal and Nazi War Crimes Trials to the United State Supreme Court, where she championed the rights of millions of American workers. A reluctant feminist who became the nation’s top fighter for equal pay for women and a co-founder of NOW, Margolin used intellect and charm to open courtroom doors for countless women who have followed.

Miri Regev

Miriam “Miri” Regev is a former Brigadier-General in the Israel Defense Forces Spokesperson’s Unit and a current member of the Knesset in the Likud party. As a member of the Knesset, Regev has held government postings as Minister of Culture and Sport and Minister of Transportation and Road Safety.

Geulah Cohen

A perennial firebrand of the Israeli Right, Geulah Cohen was a major fixture in Israeli politics from the pre-state era through to the twenty-first century. She was a Lehi-affiliated member of the Jewish Underground in British Mandatory Palestine, served in five Knessets from 1974 to 1992, and was one of the first prominent female Israeli politicians of Mizrahi origin.

Tzipi Livni

Tzipi Livni is a politician, lawyer, and diplomat who has held the more government roles than any other woman in Israeli history. Widely respected for being judicious and resolute, Livni is most known for her long tenure in the Israeli Knesset with the Likud, Kadima, Hatunah, and Zionist Union parties, for her role as a leader in Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, and for her longstanding commitment to advancing international diplomacy.

Justice Scale

On Individuals, Ethical Leaders, and the Pursuit of Justice

Maddy Pollack

In Austin, lack of housing is a huge, persistent issue. It's not only up to us to choose ethical leaders; we must act individually to fight injustice as well.

Episode 30: Women in Israeli Politics: An Election Primer (Transcript)

Episode 30: Women in Israeli Politics: An Election Primer (Transcript)

Bella Abzug Speaking with Constituents, 1976, by Diana Mara Henry

Hurricane Bella: A Whirlwind of Intersectional Feminism

Emily Axelrod

Abzug is an exemplar of what it means to be an intersectional feminist. She used her power and privilege to advocate for those she described as “on the outside of power.” Being a Jew herself, she was familiar with identity-based oppression, and because of that she knew she had to use her power to help fight for others.

Alma Hernandez

Born in Tucson, Arizona, Alma Hernandez is the youngest of three children.

Justine Wise Polier and Libby Schaaf

Governing with Valor

Molly Weiner

As the first woman Justice of New York, Polier valiantly worked to improve the family court, fought for the rights of children and poor families, and tirelessly lobbied to ease quotas on Jewish refugees. Libby Schaaf, the 52-year-old mayor of Oakland, California, also fights for the inclusion of all people.

Emily Axelrod at L'Taken

Stirred and Spurred to Action

Emily Axelrod

Judaism never seemed to offer anything that stoked my social justice fire. I didn’t hear many calls to action in services; partly because I wasn’t looking, and partly because services felt mundane to me.

Women Voting in 1936

Keeping the Faith in Our Democracy

Rachael Dubinsky

This election is a referendum on the character of our society. It’s up to all of us to use our voices and our votes to create a more just and compassionate country.

Minnah Stein with Mayor Shelli Freeland Eddie

A Tale of Two Cities and Their Mayors

Minnah Stein

Getting to intern with the mayor of Sarasota, Shelli Freeland Eddie, has been one of the best experiences of my life. I want to have a career that allows me to help people, and working with the mayor has enabled me to learn from the best. I’m so proud that our city has a strong woman as mayor who young girls in my community can look up to.

I’ve learned so much from all of the experiences my internship has offered me, but my favorite internship days are the days when after the City Council meetings are over, I trade my notepad and flats for a Girls Inc. t-shirt and sneakers. I leave the City of Sarasota and go to Dream Harbor, the mock city run by the girls at Girls Inc.

Sheila Finestone

The World Could Use More Sheila Finestones

Minnah Stein

She was an under-the-radar super hero. She wasn’t famous, and they don’t teach you about her in school, but Sheila Finestone is someone worth celebrating. Even though her contributions to society weren't always noticed the way they should be, she never let the sun set on her sense of service. 

Bella Abzug's Campaign Poster, 1970

Hats Off to Congresswoman Abzug

Kara Sherman

Like Congresswoman Bella Abzug, “I’ve always had a decent sense of outrage.” I can’t say that I was the first to call for Richard Nixon’s impeachment, or that I was the student body president of Hunter College who later received her law degree from Columbia University, but Abzug’s infinite passion for social and economic justice inspires me to attempt to follow in her footsteps.

Barbara Boxer

Barbara Boxer: Senator, Jewess, Inspiration

Shira Small

Barbara Boxer: Fittingly a great name for a fighter, and an even better name for an extraordinary, accomplished Jewish woman. As one of seven women in the senate when she was elected in 1992, Boxer’s work broke barriers for all women—especially those aspiring to work in politics.

Golda Meir, March 1, 1973

Badass Bubbee

Rachel Harris

She’s a confusing character in the feminist narrative. A pioneer in her field, yet so disappointingly anti-feminist. How do you label her? Should she be viewed as a hero, a villain, an accidental role model? The life and career of Goldie Myerson, or Golda Meir as she’s more commonly known, begs these questions.

Marcia Marker Feld

The first woman to earn a PhD in urban planning from Harvard University, Marcia Marker Feld dedicated her career to teaching the next generation of urban planners to base their work on the needs and desires of a community instead of imposing their own visions on neighborhoods.

Dalia Itzik

During her term as the first female Speaker of the Knesset, Dalia Itzik was called upon to take on another first when she became the first female Interim President of Israel in 2007.

Ruth Calderon

As a Talmud scholar and a member of the progressive Israeli political party Yesh Atid, Ruth Calderon has sought to break down the traditional divide in Israeli society between right-wing Orthodoxy and secular liberalism.

Monica Lewinsky

After news of her affair with President Clinton went viral, Monica Lewinsky survived a national scandal to become an anti-bullying crusader.
First Lady Michelle Obama with Students

Nutritious School Lunches for All

Sarah Biskowitz

Sometimes when I babysit, kids don’t like the meals I prepare for them. They scrunch their noses and whine “ewww!” at the nutritious food on their plates; but then I explain to them how carrots make their eyesight sharper, yogurt makes their bones stronger, and whole-grain pasta gives them the energy to play. Wanting to be strong and healthy, the kids listen and eat up.

Senator Jeff Klein

Dear Jeff Klein

Abigail Fisher

With the recent election of a president who has a deleterious agenda, I have grown to depend on my representation more and more. Votes against reckless healthcare plans and sweeping immigration legislation are not merely important, but vital. Now more than ever, our district deserves outspoken representatives who vote their conscience, and accurately represent the needs of their constituents. 

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